About Singapore

Singapore’s colonial past has long made it a favourite amongst UK expats and there are still over 40,000 Brits living in the bustling city state.

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Today, however, it is the modern infrastructure, cosmopolitan culture and thriving economy that appeals to expats. English is also widely spoken and even one of the country’s four official languages, making the transition easier for British expats.There are now close to five million people living Singapore, of whom around 40% were born abroad, so you’ll be in good company. Singapore continues to attract foreign talent to its skilled work force and expats make up almost half the country’s employees.So what opportunities and benefits draw so many expats to this vibrant nation?

Employment and Wealth

As one of the original ‘Asian Tigers’, it is no surprise that Singapore boasts one of the strongest economies in the East. It is, in fact, the only Asian country with a triple A credit rating and is one of the most stable and least corrupt nations in the world.

Around 17% of the population are millionaires, the highest proportion of any country, demonstrating Singapore’s ambitious spirit and financial strength. It is a place that encourages entrepreneurial zeal and drive, it takes on average just three days to register a new business and the tax system is equally simple and fair.

There are excellent career prospects for those moving to Singapore as the unemployment rate is a miniscule 2.1%. There are excellent opportunities in a variety of thriving sectors, from education and healthcare to finance and technology.

Travel Prospects

While this lively island has plenty to keep the most active expat entertained, there are also plenty of beautiful destinations to explore nearby. Thailand’s exotic capital Bangkok is under three hours away and the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur are just an hour’s flight from Singapore.

China’s fast-paced mega-cities, Shanghai and Beijing, are both around six hours away and are fascinating destinations for either business or pleasure. Tokyo is a seven hour flight from Singapore and also well worth a visit

For a beach-side break, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are both around four hour’s flight from Singapore, ideal for a bit of relaxation and a perfect contrast to Singapore. And, for the inevitable trips home, there are direct flights, although they are a lengthy 13 ½ hours.

But how easy is it to move there?

EU citizens are welcome in Singapore for up to 90 days automatically, but if you are making the leap on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, you will need to apply for the relevant visas.

Once you have found a job, your employer can help you through the process, first applying for an ‘in principle acceptance’, valid for six months, while you arrange your ‘Employment Pass’ which can be renewed each year. An EP also entitles you to apply to bring your spouse and any dependent children to live in Singapore.

While there are no specific retirement visas, those moving to Singapore during retirement can do so with an ‘EntrePass’ investment visa, providing they have sufficient capital.

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